How to make surprisingly effective candidate matches

Jeremy Tips & Tricks

The best candidate for a job opening is not always the most obvious one on paper. That's something all recruitment professionals and hiring managers know from experience. However, it can be a challenge to learn about the problem-solving skills, work habits and personal traits that make someone an exceptional worker and a great fit for a business culture.

Digging your way through a large quantity of resumes and spotting the subtle signs of a truly excellent employee isn't easy. Fortunately an applicant tracking system and powerful recruitment software tools offer the help staffing agencies and employers need to conduct a timely, efficient hiring process. With tested strategies and a wealth of data, it's possible to reveal a jobseeker who may not be the obvious choice, but who is the right one.

1. Dig deeper to make the right choice

Selecting the wrong candidate for a job is a costly error for a business, with the administrative work of the hiring process, training and any disruptions or errors adding to the expenses of paying a worker who never quite fit in. By extension, presenting job applicants that don't cut it in the long run can be damaging to a recruiter's brand and chances at developing ongoing relationships.

"Selecting the wrong candidate for a job is a costly error."

A person may seem to have the right qualifications to succeed in a position and still not work out, as J.T. O'Donnell explained in the Chicago Tribune. If the new hire has trouble adjusting to the demands of the workplace, focuses too much on self-advancement instead of learning the job, or just doesn't put in the necessary work, it can all go wrong. That makes it vital to use staffing software for gathering as much relevant information as possible.

Tools like social recruiting provide an understanding of what an applicant has to offer that goes deeper than a list of technical skills. Staffing professionals and hiring managers get access to more details about the individual's past accomplishments and self-presentation. This background helps a great deal when trying to find the person who can both fulfill the job description and make the necessary cultural fit, cutting down on unwelcome surprises.

2. Search smarter

Finding excellent workers calls for a sourcing process that takes into account the varied strengths candidates have to offer. Robust, focused search tools are a major advantage in narrowing down a field of jobseekers, focusing in on the qualities and knowledge that matter for a specific position. With boolean search functionality, staffing professionals efficiently comb through an applicant database, spotting uniquely qualified individuals.

Setting job-specific criteria yields a ranked list of people with the requisite education and experience. That list is even more useful when it's available in multiple views and filtered according to customizable categories like "skills", "must haves" and "nice to haves." With data organized to fulfill their needs, staffers and hiring managers discover the candidates who truly stand out and move faster in selecting who to usher through the recruitment pipeline.

3. Build relationships with candidates

Many candidates may thrive in roles and environments that are different from those they've previously worked in. Over time, staffing professionals learn a lot about employers and jobseekers, alike. Based on this familiarity, recruiters can guide workers to a more fruitful career and bring businesses unexpectedly great new employees.

Online communities offer a way to facilitate these relationships, publicizing job openings and allowing candidates to ask questions or check their status at every juncture, Employers themselves can use these communities to build their brand among potential employees, accept applications and even manage administrative tasks for temporary and contract employees. U.S. News & World Report noted that maintaining transparency throughout the hiring process is one of the most effective ways to bring in great new hires, so open lines of communication can be a huge asset.

JobscienceA good first impression can make the difference in whether a surprising applicant gets a chance.

4. Present applicants in the best light

Staffers must make the case for the candidates they are placing to colleagues and hiring managers. Being able to show off what makes a person just right for a position can turn an unexpected applicant into the front-runner. Making that initial impression starts with the resume. With editing tools, staffing professionals make corrections, rearrange, redact and add notes to a resume so the applicant's most impressive abilities and background are front and center.

An attractive, standardized presentation format allows hiring managers to learn at a glance about each candidate's training, education and past jobs. With an understanding of what each candidate has to offer and direct comparisons, employers make more informed decisions. They also have the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback to the staffing agency that can guide future placements.

Finding the best person for a job is often hard. Sometimes, the most proficient workers have a different history from others in their field or an unusual combination of abilities. However, agile staffing professionals with recruitment software on their side can turn those unique factors into strengths.